On March 29, 1995, an illiterate letter — replete with more than a dozen errors in grammar and spelling, including “bleaches” instead of “bleachers” — was sent to Community Board 11 by a person who called himself “Commissioner of Bayside Little League,” requesting that bleachers be installed in Crocheron Park, across from the residential area that had been represented by the East Bayside Homeowners Association for two decades at that time.
The EBHA then led the opposition to that proposal, which was subsequently turned down by CB 11 and the city. I was not yet a member of CB 11 and neither were many of the current members, but I predicted that the bleachers issue would probably return to hassle our community.
And it has. It appears the proposal’s sponsors expect us to forget the past.
Due to a prior commitment, I could not attend the Oct. 19 CB 11 Parks Committee meeting, but if I had been able to I would have stressed the following before any decision by that group:
1. I have lived a few blocks from Crocheron Park for 71 years and played there as a kid. In the decades since, I have observed how “overuse” by the Little League has gradually degraded that which was formerly pristine into what you find today, with a great increase in dangerous traffic noise, litter and de-greening, particularly as Little League use has increased its number of ballfields hours and days in the 16 1/2 years since the 1995 request to us.
2. Since bleachers cannot be removed after each game, once installed they would be available each night all year to teenagers for drinking and partying and homeless people for beds. With neither fencing or guards to prevent such use, this would severely affect the neighborhood at night, putting a further strain on the 111th Precinct’s resources and risk a terrible tragedy, like the murder of the teenage girl behind PS 203 three decades ago.
3. With the city perpetually going broke, how can anyone justify spending money on something that is not essential? Little League backers could pool their fortunes and buy a piece of land somewhere where they could have bleachers, but I think that is less likely than me being made king of England.
4. I request a copy of the petitions CB 11 has received to check addresses and find if any of them live adjacent to Crocheron Park or if all of them are residents of areas that would not be affected by this.
For these reasons — and the disturbing news that residents near Crocheron Park were not notified about this proposal — I ask CB 11 members to vote no. If this proposal comes to a vote Nov. 7, show your support of those residents whose quality-of-life would be severely affected by this ill-conceived change to the park.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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